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Loopholes for wind farm developers need fixing

I couldn’t help but swallow hard when I read Senator John Thune’s solicitation for campaign contributions. It stated: “Under God, the people rule.”

About a year ago we discussed industrial wind farms. At that time, you explained the Production Tax Credit (PTC) would be phased out in the near future. The phase out was provided for in legislation, however, in reality there is no phase out. Through contributions and their lobbyists, Big Wind added a Safe Harbor clause to the legislation. The safe harbor, in all practicality, resulted in the removal of the phase out. By spending 5% of the cost of the project up front, a project is given “Safe Harbor” from the phase out. For projects started in 2019 the PTC was to have dropped by 60% and after December 31, 2019 the PTC would be zero. However, due to safe harbor, all projects under construction before 2020 will receive 100% PTC. This means taxpayers will be providing the developers 10 years of tax credits and taxpayers will get the right to pay more taxes and higher prices for electricity.

Recently Oregon Senator Ron Wyden stated “We (politicians) are trying to determine how much ratepayers are willing to spend for Green Energy.” I believe if the public clearly understood how many tax credits were being provided to the developers of industrial wind farms and the profits those developers are reaping, the public would be appalled. The public would be further appalled to discover the amount of dollars which these developers contribute to the politicians that provide for the generous PTC and the Safe Harbor. In reality, the phase out of the PTC is as real as the Easter Bunny.

It’s very difficult for some of the people to watch our trillions of deficit spending increase every day.

My wife and I lost more than $250k in our efforts to avoid living among the turbines. We were given no choice. Living too close gives some of people headaches, sleep deprivation, vertigo, tinnitus, etc. Are you like our governor who strongly supports wind energy, but prefers not to live among the turbines?

Senator Thune, it has been far too long since you have lived among the people. You have been given power by God, not by campaign contributions from lobbyists.

George Holborn, Sioux Falls